ARK WOODS Shoghi (Near Shimla)

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A hill resort hotel amidst a pine forest

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Bird watching and birding

Parkwoods Hill Resort Shoghi, near Shimla, is a great destination base for bird watchingPark Woods Hill Resort Shoghi, near Shimla, is a great destination base for bird watching. The verdant, sylvan surroundings in the Himalayan ambience are home to many different species of birds. Some of the birds which can be commonly spotted just outside one's cottage are the White Eared Bulbul, Black Drongo, Spot Winged Tit, Blue Magpie, Kalij Pheasant, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Brown Fronted Woodpecker, Black Headed Jay and Trumpeter Finch.For more extensive birding, the surrounding forest has many birding trails and nesting sites.
Many birding enthusiasts regularly visit Park Woods in different seasons.
Find below links to a birding report and picture galleries from our guests.

Superb bird pics shot in April at Parkwoods Shoghi, by Dr. Shantun Malhotra of Amritsar. Click on thumbnails to view the bigger pics.

Birding Report by Partha Pratim Pal of Delhi Birders' Club who visited Park Woods Hill Resort in September

Birding by Achal Bindraban at  Park Woods Shoghi (Shimla)

One August autumn when the hillsides were emerald green and the monsoon clouds were still romantically flirting down in the valleys, I was staying at Parkwoods in Shoghi. I made a friend but as happens in many relationships - the affair was one-sided! When I would be having morning tea at my cottage portico, a Woodpecker would visit the pine tree right in front, everyday, without fail. I always experienced the staccato beat of its beak against the trunk to be amazingly soothing.
I managed to capture some of the birds through my lens though missed many like the minivets, warblers, babblers and some others which I was unable to identify. The small fairy like green leafbirds were particularly interesting which I saw on the trek down from Tara Devi.

It is fun to meet the birds at Park Woods. You also frequently get to hear the barking deer - unbelievably, we saw a baby barking deer cross the fore
st road. We also managed to catch a glimpse of a brown rabbit near the Anji Hilltop where you get to see and hear peacocks as well.
You have to be both lucky and patient besides being an early riser to experience the company of winged friends here at Park Woods Shoghi (Shimla).

Fulvous Breasted Woodpecker.
Fulvous Breasted Woodpecker

Black Lored Tit.

Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch Male.
Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch, Male
Black Lored Tit

Kalij Pheasant Male.
Kalij Pheasant, Male

Black Drongo Adult.
Black Drongo Adult

Scaly Bellied Woodpecker, Male.
Scaly Bellied Woodpecker, Male
Black Eagle Adult with Kill.
Black Eagle Adult with Kill

Oriental Turtle Dove.
Oriental Turtle Dove

Slaty Headed Parakeet.
Slaty Headed Parakeet

White Eared Bulbul.
White Eared Bulbul

Red Billed Blue Magpie.
Red Billed Blue Magpie

Blue Whistling Thrush.
Blue Whistling Thrush

Green Barbet.
Green Barbet

Spotted Dove.
Spotted Dove


Red Jungle Fowl, Female.
Red Jungle Fowl, Female

For somebody getting initiated into birding I couldnot decide what I found more exciting - to be woken up bya cacophony of kalij pheasants outside my tent or glimpsing a red billed blue magpie with its long majestic tail vanishing into the bushes as I took a turn on a birding trail or sighting the ubiquitous black drongo. How I wish that I could also sight the elusive monal and western tragopan. Having recently got a 10x42 Nikon binocs, I just cannot wait for my next birding trip to Park Woods Shoghi.   Ranjana.

Birding List at ParkwoodsShoghi (This list has been generated by a local naturalist)

~ Alexendrine
~ Asian Koyal
~ Bhraming Starling
~ Black Bulbul
~ Black Drongo,
~ Black Francolin
(Black Patridge)
~ Black Headed Jay
~ Black Lored Yellow
~ Black Red Start
~ Black Shouldered
   Kite (Vulture)
~ Blue Rock Pigeon
~ Blue Throated
~ Blue Magpie
~Blue Whistling
~ Blyth’s Reed
~ Brown Fronted
   Woodpecker, Male

~ Bushchats
~ Common Cockoo
Common Hoopoe
~ Common Indian
~ Common Myna
~ Common Quail
~ Copper Smith
~ Egyptian Vulture
~ Eurasian Collared
~ Eurasian Griffon
~ Fire Capped Serin
~ Great Barbet
~ Great Short Toed
~ Great Tit
~ Great Tree Pie
~ Great Headed Fly
~ Greenish Leaf

~ Grey And Yellow

Grey Winged
    Black Bird

Himalayan Green
~ House Sparrow
~ Indian Peafowl
~ Indian White
   Backed Vulture
~ Jungle Babbler
~ Jungle Myna
~ Jungle Prinia
~ Kalij Pheasant,
~ Koklas Pheasant
~ Large Pied Wagtail
~ Long Tailed
~ Oriental Turtle
~ Oriental White Eye
~ Pied Crested

~ Pied Fly Catcher

Plum Headed
~ Red Billed Leothrix
~ Red Headed
~ Red Jungle Fowl
~ Red Vented Bulbul
~ Rofous Sibia
~ Rose Ringed
~ Rufous Backed
~ Schmitar Babbler
~ Slaty Headed
~ Small Yellow
~ Spot Winged Tit
~ Spotted Dove
~ Spotted Forktail
~ Spotted Munia

~ Tree Sparrow
~ Trumpeter Finch,

Ultra Marine
~ Verditer Flycatcher
~ Warblers
~ Wedge Tailed
   Green Pigeon
~ White Crested
    Laughing Thrush
~ White Eared
    Bulbul, Adult
~ White Throated
    Fantail Fly Catcher
~ Woodpecker
~ Yellow Bellied
   Fantail Flycatcher
~ Yellow Billed
    Blue Magpie
~ Yellow Billed Blue
   Whistling Thrush
~ Yellow Throated

Birding Report by Partha Pratim Pal (Delhi Birders' Club)- Park Woods visit in September

Weekend at Shoghi

Shoghi is small town on the way to Shimla – the most famous and most popular hill station of India. In contrast, very few people know about Shoghi though it is just 18 kms before Shimla.

If people know about Shoghi, it is mainly due to Park Woods Resort which is located just 3kms away from the highway in a quaint wooded area. Park Woods Resort probably is the only place in Shoghi where you can stay. It is nice rustic jungle resort with bamboo cottages and swiss tents. Great hospitality, good food, lots of adventure activities thrown in and of course bird watching. It is just the right kind of place for family outing and armchair birding. It is also good for people who want the fun of Shimla but want to stay away from the crowd and pollution.

My tryst with Himachal Pradesh on birding front has not been great and I was not expecting it either at Shoghi , though the list on Park wood website was encouraging.

Kirti,Vanya, Shaheen and I boarded the train from Delhi to Kalka and reached our planned destination around noon.

First sighting of the trip, a pair of Khaleej Pheasants just 80 mtrs way from the resort. I rubbed my hand in anticipation. Second sighting Grey Headed Woodpecker walking next to the cottage. My pessimism about Himachal birding changed into optimism. After that there was lull other than few Drongo and Grey Treepie making lot of noise. By evening Oriental White Eye, Great Tit, Black Lored Tit, Black ThroatedTit were added to the list. Calls of Rusty Cheeked SchimitarBabbler and White Crested Laughing Thrush were also heard. Again a pair of Khaleej Pheasants.

Weather was nice, cloudy and just the right amount of cold which makes you feel that you should be covered properly but warm clothes not required. Come night and we felta slight chill. Next day morning trek gave me the only lifer of the trip Speckled Piculet, Grey Hooded Warbler, Himalayan Bulbul, possible Striated Prinia and Red Billed Blue Magpie mid morning and afternoon was spent in Shimla.

Indian Griffon was the only sighting of the Shimla and not to forget we had some great Himachali Food. Vanya  and my favourite -the Masala Trout.

Next day we saw Blue Throated Barbet, Black Bulbul, Fire BreastedFlower Pecker, Blue Capped Rock Thrush, Brown Fronted Woodpecker, Red Jungle Fowl, Nineteen Khaleej Pheasants, Long Tailed Minivets, Plum Headed Parakeet, Green Beater, Common Hoopoe, Spotted and Oriental Turtle Dove, Black Headed Jay and Large Billed Crow.

Mid morning we did some adventure activities and late afternoon we went for a river picnic ten kms down. Vanya had some great fun playing in the water, sadly no birds around, except a few Jungle Babblers. Night became exciting with calls of Barking Deer and Mountain Scops Owl which I could record quite distinctly (Thanks to Shaheen who woke me up at 2.30 in the night).

Next day was marked by sighting of  Great Barbet, Blue WhistlingThrush, Grey Bushchat, Ultramarine Fycatcher, Grey Headed Canary Flycatcher, Verditter Flycatcher, Common Chiffchaff, Greenish Warbler, and Streaked Laughing Thrush.

By afternoon we left the place after having a sumptuous lunch and we headed back for Kalka and to our final destination. By end of the trip I can say confidently I enjoyed the trip and birding wise it was definitely not so bad, density less but good variety. Park Woods as a jungle resort is a nice place and worth the value.

 ©Partha Pratim Pal, New Delhi.

Village Paughat, Shoghi,
Shimla Hills, H
imachal Pradesh.

Website: https://parkwoodsatshoghi.com

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This webpage has information on Bird Watching and Birding at Park Woods Hill Resort Shoghi near Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.